Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Chickens Come Home to Roost

The wonderful recipe below this post uses several eggs - no problem for me since I began raising chickens on our apartment balcony. As Ive learned from experience, it’s easy to turn a city balcony into a country barnyard! Today’s post will tell you how. 

We have 10 free-range hens hidden on our balcony. Because they lay more eggs than we can consume, we sell the rest. If you do that, be sure to wash the shells. “Poop is a four-letter word. 

Our laying hens produced this bounty early this morning!

We’ve allowed the broodiest” hens to have chicks. Those cute little fuzz balls are running around the deck even as I write ... Easter egg hunts and angel food cakes will never be a problem again!

As regular readers know, I’m thrifty. When you raise your own chickens, the savings can be substantial. A homemade coop doesn’t take much room, especially when patio furniture conceals it. The occasional wipe with a damp cloth more-or-less controls mites and blowing feathers. Although the chickens want to perch on our deck railing, we’d never take the chance that a nosy neighbor or member of our Home Owners’ Association might make a fuss. 

Our rooster cock-a-doodle-dos so early that he’s become my personal wake-up call. We can only assume that his dawn crowing hasnt bothereour upstairs neighbor, because she hasnt whispered a word of complaint to us (or, we hope, to anyone else!).

If you’re a city slicker who yearns for a country lifestyle, do as weve done! Raising chickens (in secret, of course) will make smart use of your balcony and will meet your family’s needs! The taste of freshly laid eggs and hot chicken dinners will make all that skulking around worthwhile! Prepare to sharpen the ax!

Tip: Don’t brag to the neighbors! Some folks are jealous and mean-spirited because they lack the gumption to raise chickens in secret. Whenever our hens cluck too furiously, Ron tells those very same neighbors that I have a cold and am clearing my throat.

I do hope Jennifer, our upstairs neighbor, isnt peering over the balcony as Ron takes this footage! Not being a professional cameraman, he filmed me crowing, but not our rooster!) You can hear our hens and chicks as they run around the balcony, hoping I might toss them a little grain. So you’ll have to be content with taking a gander at this chick!

Next: How to raise homing pigeons for fun and profit on your city balconyMmm-mmm-mmm! With their feathers, head, and feet removed, slow-cooked pigeon in wine sauce appeals to the gourmand in all of us. Who wouldn’t love that? You can even grow the grapes and stomp the wine on your deck! Your pesky HOA will be none-the-wiser if the grape vines hide the pigeon coop. 

Feel sorry for those pigeons? Don’t! When did you last need a homing pigeon? Personally, I use email - and eating my words doesn’t even come close to the satisfaction I feel when I polish off a pigeon! 

Today’s egg-based recipe appears immediately below this post. Start raising those chickens now!

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